Frequency Therapeutics announces breakthrough small-molecule approach to regenerate inner ear sensory hair cells

Clearly they think there’s potential to get good enough results to make notable amounts of money. I’m still pretty skeptical. I remember from previous discussions of WRS that Neville expressed opinion that it was not a very precise measurement with wide confidence levels. The changes in audiometry levels do not explain the change in WRS scores so I think there’s either something else going on (who knows, maybe it improves brain function), or it’s random. 1 in a 100 events happen every day.

Some day damaged inner ear cells will be restored, but if you’ve attended or reviewed any “high level” medical presentations on nerve cell regeneration you will realize its a good ten (plus) years off. More like fifteen years. Odds are medical science will find a cure for baldness way before they find a cure for nerve deafness. As if losing hair is a life altering crisis.

WRS variance can be ~6-30%. Those changes in WRS probably aren’t as big as they look. I’d also be interested to know whether they are using the same word list 30 days later.

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@hold4triple. More treatment than cure I think. In the case of FX-322, I think it will either be approved or abandoned within 5 years. It’s an easy drug to test.

@Neville. I think there might have been no effect or maybe a minor training effect in the untreated ear and in the placebo group. Would rule out artifacts like repeating the word list I think. It would have been a real mickey mouse study if they didn’t have multiple and randomized word lists. Also the same 3 or 4 who showed the significant improvement in wrs scores were the same people who showed 10-15 db improvements in thresholds at 8k. That might be some corroboration. On the other hand, very tiny numbers. The 2a study will be interesting. Much higher numbers, a more carefully targeted group of subjects, and multiple dosing.

This reminds me a bit of the hair regrowth (your head) medication called Rogaine. It seemed to work for some people but not for all users. I’m actually excited about this development because even a 5-10 db improvement in the high frequency range would be a welcome outcome for many people and would make it worth the investment to try the medication. Please keep posting this information.

I think they’re hoping for even greater improvements beyond 8k. The current study will test for improvements in extended high frequencies. This seems to be where they believe that increases in ‘clarity’ will come from. Many people will be skeptical about that I know.

Another article here: Frequency's hearing loss treatment shows long-term promise.

@Neville or anyone else…

Two separate quotes from experts. Which one is right?

A 10-decibel improvement is really a tripling in the ability to hear a tone at that particular pitch,” said Frequency Chief Development Officer Carl LeBel, Ph.D.

An improvement of 10 decibels at 8000 hertz is also almost a negligible gain, adds University of Iowa’s Gantz, “within test, retest variability of an audiogram,” he says.

The second one. This first one is conflating changes in sound intensity with signal detection and is actually a bit nonsensical.